Bolton 0-0 Palace
Sorry for the delay and brief nature of the report. I have had a stinking cold and looking at a screen hurt my eyes.
Premier League Crystal Palace were held by League One’s Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup third round. Both sides struck the woodwork in a largely forgettable match, but it will be one that will live long in the memory of the travelling supporters.
Julian Speroni finally surpassed John Jackson’s appearance record as a Crystal Palace goalkeeper, moving into fourth place on the all-time Palace appearances board with 389. In a period that the Club seems to be struggling with a bit of an identity crisis, Julian Speroni was exactly what Palace needed – maybe even more than the clean sheet that came along with him. This was the first time that Crystal Palace shut out the opposition away from home since last season’s FA Cup Quarter-Final win at Reading.
The blank was the 108th of Speroni’s Palace career, another Club record.
The Argentinean’s name was sung throughout by the 1,456 Palace fans that travelled to foggy Bolton, and he was heartily cheered every time he touched the ball – including a smart stop at his near post in the first-half.
At the other end of the field, Loic Remy was making his long awaited debut for the Eagles. While he was blowing out of his arse by the end of the first-half, the striker’s injury problems do not appear to have affected his pace. The Frenchman struck the post and was unlucky not to score when through one on one from a tight angle. The signs were promising, and a working partnership with Christian Benteke was easy enough to imagine.
Meanwhile, plenty of fringe players were given a chance to shine. Jordon Mutch, Chung-Yong Lee, Zeki Fryers and Fraizer Campbell all started. Campbell was his usual tireless self but lacked the quality needed to unlock the defence. Lee was his usual tidy self and was warmly welcomed by the fans of his former Club. Fryers was nutmegged but was bailed out by the aforementioned Speroni save. Then there was Mutch. We live in the hope that this will be his final appearance in a Palace shirt.
The replay will take place on Tuesday 17th January at Selhurst Park, the pricing of £20 for a ticket (£18 for Season Ticket holders) gave me something else to be miserable about. Southampton charged us £10 in the third round last season – so it only seems right that we should be charged double that for a replay against League One opposition.
Reward for the winners in the overpriced replay will be Manchester City at home - joy.